Tag Archives: Michael

School Picture Day

Elise got a bath this morning. This is not a normal thing. Normally, I make an attempt to brush out the snarls and then we negotiate the style in which I tie back her “growing out like Rapunzel” hair.

This negotiation usually starts with a ridiculous, unachevable request like, “Can you make my hair look like Elsa today?” or “Can I look like the cowgirl Barbie hair from that movie?” and then I talk her down to a more realistic option like, “One or two braids” or “maybe just a pony tail, like the horse on the Barbie movie… I know you can gallop like a horse! How about a PONY TAIL?!” Sometimes, if we have a little extra time, she gets a French braid like “Little Elsa”.

Some days I go rogue and do a surprise braid. Sometimes these rogue braids are met with excitement, “You are the BEST MOM EVER!” and some days I am greeted with a less than loving tantrum, “I DON”T LIKE THAT. I HATE MY HAIR LIKE THAT!!!!” For the record, tantrums are always louder and require more caps to express.

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But this morning she needed a bath because she has been sick and her runny nose had inevitably been wiped with her hair somehow so the snot had knotted up the hair into a germ filled nest. The reason she didn’t get a bath last night was because they were at Mouse Choir at church and we didn’t get home until late. If you are thinking this through and have come to the realization that I sent my 5 year old to church with snot snarled hair, you are correct.

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The reason why I cared this morning about the snot filled hair and not last night? It is Picture Day at school. The day where parents dress their kids up in the nicest school clothes they have, brush their kids hair, write a check for an obscene amount of money for an unseen product, drop off their kids at school and hope for the best.

In this day in age, where I feel like most parents can take an equally as nice photos that expresses their kids’ personalities better than a “Sit here on the stool while I change the textured red background to a textured grey background” photo, Picture Day seems a bit ridiculous. But it is a right of passage and I need 5x7s to send to Grandparents, so I fill out the form three separate times, write three separate checks, dress them up, brush their hair and drop them off.

Before I dropped them off this morning I asked them to take a quick photo on the door step. I told them to smile like they would for the school pictures and this is what I got.

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I have complete confidence that Picture Day photos will be flawless.

 

First Day of School 2015

We were running a bit behind schedule so photos were rushed and not very good, but we got them done!  Also the color printer was jammed and out of ink so it is black and white signs this year. Oh well.

Third Grade!

 

Michael may not look it but he was equally as excited about school as Patrick.

This year Michael insisted on choosing his own clothes for the first day of school. This is the first time he has ever done that. Also, I had to walk into school to buy a 3rd Grade Planner that I didn’t buy at Open House last week. I don’t even remember there being a sign, but I vaguely remember thinking “we don’t have to stand in line for whatever those kids are buying because that is for the big kids.” I have one of those big kids! When did that happen?

Maybe I will have them redo First Day of School photos when they get home from school this afternoon. 😉

Elise starts Kindergarten on Thursday. I just CAN NOT BELIEVE how big they are!

It ended up that by the time we had walked to school we still had 10 minutes before the doors even opened. I guess the whole “being on time means you are late” mentality I was raised with never really left me. The boys were standing around with friends chatting away about their summer while I bought the big kid planner. It makes me so happy to see them so engaged and excited to be with their friends.

Summer so far

It has been a busy summer so far. We have swam, hiked, played, traveled to Grandma and Grandpa Shannon’s house and then hiked some more.

 

We have a new favorite place to hike. Afton State Park is only 10 minutes from our house but we have never been there until this summer. We have been missing out!

When we are not hiking or swimming you can usually find us swinging on ropes or trying desperately to master the slackline (more on that another time).

The kids have been, for the most part, quite good. I have come to realize that they are at their most peaceful state when they are outside or exhausted. So that is my mission. Every day, all day… keep them moving, keep them outside as much as possible and make them exhausted. If they are not exhausted. We go hiking again.

Every hike, my backpack is packed with sunscreen, water, a snack, colored pencils and their sketchbook. I make them take a break along the hiking path, eat a snack, drink some water and then they have to draw in the sketchbook.

Then we hike some more.

And then when we get home if they are still have energy, we play games.

Sometimes we take a break and bake.

But then we go hiking again.

Even if they have already had bath, are in pajamas but are wound up, we wait for Dad to get home and go for a before bed hike.

It has been a fun and exhausting summer.

More photos here. 

Last Day of Preschool

Last Friday was the last day of preschool for Elise and for the rest of us. No more preschool.
Wow…
We have been going to the Y preschool 3 days a week for the past 5 years straight. Michael started going to preschool there when Elise was just a few weeks old and now Elise is celebrating her last day of preschool. Time flies.

Starred Photos81*if you look closely in the reflection of the door, you can see me wearing Elise in a sling and PJ standing next to me.

And somewhere between Michael’s First and Elise’s Last day of preschool Patrick had 2 First and Last Days.

We have gone to 20 teacher conferences, 10 Holiday programs, 10 graduations, 5 First Days of School and 5 last days of school.

It was the essence of bittersweet handing in my ID card knowing that this fall I would not be using it again. All three kids (and just to be clear three is all we will have, three is the limit) have graduated preschool. I will have 3 school age kids next year!

Here are a few photos of Elise on her last day of Preschool. I threw out the teacher handout before reading that said the last day of school was Super Hero day. So while all the rest of Elise’s classmates were in Super Hero t-shirts, masks and even Halloween costumes, my kid showed up in the dress she chose herself and the tiara she insisted on accessorizing with.

First Day of Preschool 2013. Last Day of Preschool 2015.

Starred Photos82

It has been a wild, fun and exhausting ride. I think our van could drive to the Y Preschool on auto-pilot at this point.

I am so proud of Elise. She is ready for Kindergarten in the exact opposite way the boys were ready. The boys hated writing, coloring and cutting and Elise is a pro, and colors and cuts all day long. In fact TIm bought a new toner printer last year because I was printing out so many “Coloring Pages” off the internet that regular printer ink became more expensive than just buying a toner printer! The kid colors all day and she is good.

The boys went into Kindergarten knowing all their letters, shapes, number and colors. Elise… not so much. She struggles with letter and number recognition. I know she will get the eventually but she definitely has some catching up to do in this area.

The area that she is most different from the boys is maturity levels and social and classroom skills. Maybe it is a girl vs. boy thing or maybe it is just Elise vs her brothers thing but she couldn’t be more ready to be in a kindergarten classroom. She wants to learn. She is good at following directions and she is great socially with her peers.

I am going to do my best to savor this summer with her before she starts full-time school. Because we are so alike she is quick to get on my nerves but it seems like once you send your kiddos off to Kindergarten everything warps into light speed. For example…. Michael is turning 9 years old this summer and starting 3rd grade next fall… when did that happen?!

Wasn’t I just writing a blog post about Michael’s First Day of Preschool?

More photos of Elise on her last day here.